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UPDATE -- MAY 27, 2011 
From A Federal Emergency Management Agency News Release:
Under the leadership of President Obama, the administration is continuing to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support Missouri and the other affected states that were struck by deadly tornadoes earlier this week. As of this morning (Friday, May 27), more than 2,500 Missourians affected by the Sunday (May 29) tornadoes in the Joplin area have applied for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with home repairs or cover other personal losses, and more than $2.8 million in this type of assistance has been approved. This type of assistance is separate from public assistance that the state can receive from the federal government for emergency response needs and longer-term rebuilding projects for critical infrastructure, like schools, roads, firehouses and other facilities.

On Sunday, President Obama will visit Joplin, Missouri to tour damaged areas and to meet with and state and local officials and families affected by the devastation.  Both he and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano have been receiving regular updates from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on the recovery efforts there.  Yesterday, senior administration officials from across the federal family traveled to Joplin to meet with state and local officials, including personnel from his White House National Security Staff, the Departments of Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Service, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"On behalf of the entire federal family, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with families and communities in Joplin, and with all those across the country, who lost loved ones as a result of the storms this week," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who was in Joplin on Monday at the President's request.  "We will continue to work with our federal, state, local and private sector partners -- as well as the American public -- to support the affected families, neighborhoods and communities as they work to rebuild and recover, for as long as it takes."The federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.  FEMA, through its regional offices in Kansas City, Missouri, Denton, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Atlanta, Georgia has been in close contact and coordination with state and local officials throughout the week as storms have threatened various parts of the country. 

Under the President's leadership, on Monday FEMA added the two Missouri counties impacted by tornadoes, Jasper and Newton, to an ongoing disaster declaration the state received for recent storms, which means that tornado survivors in those counties can apply for disaster assistance with FEMA.  Individuals in these counties can apply for aid three ways: by calling FEMA at (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585; online at www.disasterassistance.gov; or directly on their mobile phones at m.fema.gov.  These individuals can also use the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) locator to find the nearest DRC where they can apply for disaster aid, and meet with representatives from FEMA, state and other agencies, to learn about various assistance programs available. 

In Minnesota, at the request of the governor, FEMA personnel joined state and local officials to conduct preliminary damage assessments yesterday in Hennipen County.  These damage assessments are the first step in helping the governor determine whether the scope of the damages are beyond what the state is capable of handling and if additional federal assistance is needed.  

In Oklahoma, FEMA has staff on the ground, including a Federal Coordinating Officer who visited disaster affected areas Wednesday with the Oklahoma Emergency Management Director and the Oklahoma Governor.  A FEMA IMAT is also in Oklahoma to assist with coordination efforts.  At the request of the governor, preliminary damage assessments began today.  

In Arkansas, FEMA has staff on the ground, including a Federal Coordinating Officer, working closely with the Governor and the Arkansas Emergency Management team as they assess the aftermath of the tornadoes that touched down this week.  Joint preliminary damage assessments, which began yesterday, continue in Arkansas today. 

At all times, FEMA maintains commodities, including millions of liters of water, millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of blankets, strategically located at eight distribution centers throughout the United States.  

While the major wrath of these storms has passed, FEMA continues to encourage all Americans to follow the instructions of state and local officials, and to listen to local radio and/or TV stations for updated emergency information, especially heading into the holiday weekend.  Also, familiarize yourself with these simple steps to stay safe before, during and after a storm: 

Follow the instructions of state and local officials,

Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information,

Make sure you have a safe place to go in case severe weather approaches,

Familiarize yourself with severe weather watch/warning terms:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

  • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

  • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.  

For complete tips on getting prepared for a tornado, severe storm, or flooding, visit Ready.gov or our mobile site (m.fema.gov). 

To help manage the generous outpouring of support for disaster survivors, read more about simple ways to help, whether by volunteering or making donations.

CONTINUE READING THIS UPDATE

UPDATES -- MAY 25, 2011 
From The American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City:
The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross has activated the Patient Locator Program in conjunction with regional hospitals. Persons seeking information about a loved one from the Joplin area who may have been transported to a Kansas City area hospital may call 1-855-KC-LOCATE (1-855-525-6228) to determine where that person is currently hospitalized.

Operators will search a database of information supplied by the hospitals identifying patients admitted in relation to the tornado that occurred in Joplin. Callers will be instructed what hospital to call and what procedures to follow.

CONTINUE READING THIS UPDATE

From The U.S. Department of Homeland Security: 
To help manage the generous outpouring of support for Joplin, Missouri, tornado survivors, disaster recovery experts have established some simple ways to help, whether through volunteering or making donations. Keep these guidelines in mind, however, before donating or volunteering:

Coordinating Volunteers

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has established this web portal to coordinate donations and volunteers. Keep in mind that cash is the preferred donation method because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover as well. Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

Also, those interested in volunteering should not simply go to Joplin at this time. It requires too much manpower to process "spontaneous" volunteers, which can impede recovery efforts. CLICK HERE for more information about volunteering.

Shelter Information

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 2-1-1, or 800-427-4626, or go to www.redcross.org for a list of open shelters. For individuals with a hearing loss, call 7-1-1 or use Video Relay Service to reach 2-1-1 or 800-427-4626. 

Helping Survivors In Other States

For those who have been affected in Minnesota or other states outside Missouri or those who want to help can visit www.fema.gov/howtohelp

CONTINUE READING THIS UPDATE


Resources Available To Check On Friends & Loved Ones
Joplin Tornado Response

MAY 24, 2011 – The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) continues to work with Missouri state and local agencies to deploy all available response resources to Joplin following the deadly tornado that ripped through the city Sunday evening, May 22. Search and rescue and other emergency operations were expected to continue through the night.

In response, the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross has established a shelter at Missouri Southern State College, 3950 East Newman Road, Joplin, Missouri 64801. The shelter facility is the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center, which can also accommodate pets.

Volunteers

Missourians interested in volunteering to assist should call (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1. Those with medical skills interested in volunteering should go to: www.showmeresponse.org. All others wanting to volunteer are asked to wait three to five days to sign up.

Donations

Missourians wishing to make donations to help with the relief effort can call (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1, or by going to www.sema.dps.mo.gov/recover/donations.asp.

Status Of Friends & Family

Friends and family who would like to check on their loved ones in the affected area go to this site, through which residents affected by the tornado can notify their friends and family that they are safe: safeandwell.communityos.org.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 2-1-1. The United Way's 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. 

Sunday evening, Governor Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard to respond to the area. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has also sent additional troopers to the Joplin area. SEMA is helping to coordinate the deployment of search and rescue teams, a disaster medical assistance team, communications vehicles, mobile command vehicles, heavy equipment and an incident support team. The incident support team will provide support to the emergency operations center.

Missouri Task Force 1, a division of the Boone County Fire Protection District that specializes in search and rescue operation in building collapses, is one of the resources responding to Joplin. The task force uses state of the art search equipment, including visual and acoustical devices, medical equipment and K-9 search teams.

 

Local Agencies

Sunday night, following the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, agencies from the Greater Kansas City area responded. Resources sent to Joplin from this region included the Heavy Rescue Team from the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) and Central Jackson County Fire District.

Twenty-five ambulances, grouped into five "Strike Teams," also were sent to Joplin. Departments from the area that provided ambulances and emergency medical services included:

  • KCFD
  • Lee's Summit Fire Department
  • Central Cass Fire Protection District
  • Harrisonville EMS
  • Belton Fire Department
  • Grandview Fire Department
  • Raytown EMS
  • Liberty Fire Department
  • Pleasant Hill Fire Department
  • Johnson County (Kansas) Med-Act
  • Kearney Fire Protection District
  • Lawson Fire Protection District
  • Warsaw/Lincoln Ambulance District
  • South Metro Fire Protection District
  • Johnson County (Missouri)
    Ambulance District
  • Lake Lotawanna Fire
    Protection District
  • Prairie Township Fire
    Protection District
  • Excelsior Springs Fire Department
 
           
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